Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Overseas Development Aid
97. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the partners his Department is working with or plans to work with in order to increase access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services overseas; the funding provided to each partner organisation from 2018 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53631/19]
Improving the quality and availability of health services with a strong focus on maternal and child health has been a longstanding component of Ireland’s international development programme. Access to health services, including access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, is transforming women’s lives. For example, women's life expectancy in Mozambique was 46.12 years in 1996, when Ireland first started the development programme there. Last year, the WHO calculated female life expectancy in Mozambique as 62.3 years, a remarkable increase in 20 years although clearly more needs to be done: Irish support for health service provision with an emphasis on maternal and child health, together addressing HIV / AIDS helped support this positive change.
Ireland's policy for international development, A Better World, commits the Government to deepen and expand on its existing partnerships in this area. Ireland currently works with a range of global and international organisations, as per the table below. In addition, Ireland supports health service provision through the bilateral programmes in a range of countries, including Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
98. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the partner organisations Ireland will be working with as part of his commitment to provide at least €250 million over the next five years for global education with a focus on improving access to quality education for girls and access to education in emergencies, the knowledge and information they need to protect themselves from HIV, including through keeping girls in school and supporting comprehensive sexuality education; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53632/19]
The Government’s new Policy for International Development, A Better World, makes a commitment to contribute at least €250 million to improve global education between 2019 and 2023 with a specific focus on education in emergencies and girls’ education. The Government is delivering on this commitment through bilateral and multilateral partnerships, selecting modalities and partners on the basis of the most effective and efficient means of achieving these objectives.
The Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait are the two main global partnerships funded by Ireland. The Global Partnership for Education supports over 65 low or lower middle-income countries in their efforts to develop and implement quality education plans, focusing on effective and efficient education systems, equity and gender equality. Ireland doubled its funding to the Global Partnership for Education to €25 million between 2018-2020.
In September, I pledged a contribution of €6 million to the Education Cannot Wait Fund. This fund is specifically dedicated to supporting students and teachers in emergency and protracted crises and to date has reached more than 1.4 million children in 32 countries.
In addition Ireland supports education for children and youth through bilateral programmes in Palestine, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia.
In Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and in partnership with UNESCO Ireland works to reduce early and unintended pregnancies, HIV and STI infections, and gender-based violence through good quality comprehensive sexuality education programmes integrated into education curricula.
Through partnerships with Irish, African and International NGOs such as Aidlink, the Campaign for Female Education, Girl Child Network, Misean Cara, Plan International Ireland, and World Vision Ireland, Ireland supports quality education for girls and for children in emergencies.
While we are already scaling up support for global education, we are also looking at further opportunities to strengthen our support for education globally and to specifically to deliver on the commitments in A Better World to girls’ education and education in emergencies.